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Key caught in MediaWorks lie

Written By: - Date published: 9:18 am, April 9th, 2011 - 85 comments
Categories: accountability, corruption, john key, Media, national, radio, Steven Joyce, tv - Tags: , ,

Following the release of OIA documentation and questioning in the House, John Key has recanted his earlier statement that he hadn’t met with MediaWork’s Brent Impey to discuss a $43 million Government loan. The PM has now admitted that he did indeed meet with the head of Steven Joyce’s former company MediaWorks, which owns TV3, TV4, Radiolive (Paul Henry’s new home) and many other commercial radio stations.

Despite advice from the Treasury and MED that such a loan would be an unjustified risk, and despite previously refusing a similar request from other broadcasters, Key and Joyce decided to extend a line of $43 million dollars’ credit to Joyce’s former company – not long before Government then announced the axing of TVNZ’s Public Broadcasting channel 7.

Now that might all look remarkably shonkey and corrupt, but then again it could be this Government’s first really sound investment: buying favourable media coverage for the Election.

UPDATE: TVNZ covers the story. Oddly enough TV3 is completely silent on the matter.

UPDATE 2: NRT suggests there’s a lot more mess to come

85 comments on “Key caught in MediaWorks lie ”

  1. ghostwhowalksnz 1

    Im wondering if Mediaworks  private equity owners did some lobbying of their own.  Ironbridge Capital  would crawl over broken glass to protect the value of their investment.That is via the National Party president and fundraiser.

    Why else would Radio Rhema , a christian broadcaster get rejected but the aussies  get the nod.
    The time line shows this is how it turned out.

    July 2009: Briefing to Joyce says that MediaWorks boss Brent Impey was working on a different proposal and was lobbying “higher levels” in Government.

    Of course  these things are done by deputies and intermediaries as well , so it looks like everything had hit a roadblock until Impey  had a ‘quiet word’ and all the obstacles went away.

    Would this be another ‘nice to have’ that  ‘Castro’  Key and  ‘Chavez’ English are talking about.

  2. burt 2

    You lefties are so inconsistent. When your favourite bullshit artist Winston was caught telling lies you were proud to be in govt with him and would do it again. Why can’t Key behave like your team did ?

    • Despite your confused revisionism about Peters, it’s good to see that even you Burt acknowledge Key is lying yet again.

      • burt 2.1.1

        Why would I not agree with what looks like the truth ?  I don’t have unquestionable loyalty to a colour.

      • burt 2.1.2

        Oh and as for revisionism… What did the Labour-led govt do about Peters after it was proven he lied… Nothing. Actually they denigrated the process and undermined the significance of the privileges committee. Prior to Winston we use to call the privileges committee the highest court in the land. Would Labour have him back … Well yes they will.   Revisionism is you wipes saying Peters was the victim of an unfair political beat up.

        Grow up and face the music – your team will do anything to hold the levers of power just like the blue team.

    • lprent 2.2

      Burt retrospectively altering the past to the way he thinks it should have been. Nice to see that the right seldom changes their traditional behavior.

      But at least Burt recognizes and acknowledges John Key lying. So Burt, what do you think the penalty should be? Consistent with your expectations of Winston in 08? I think it was expulsion from the house and prosecution? Something like that anyway..

      • burt 2.2.1

        Yes if he’s proven to have lied he should be sent packing from parliament. End of story.  Oh and I think you are being dishonest saying I’m altering the past – can I sack you from this blog for a week because of that ?

        • lprent 2.2.1.1

          You actual statement was:-

          You lefties are so inconsistent. When your favourite bullshit artist Winston was caught telling lies you were proud to be in govt with him and would do it again.

          Your basic problem is that you ALWAYS mistake that saying “there isn’t enough evidence” with “they support him”. A so typical attitude of a lynch mob member as I have previously noted. I’ve called your attitude and the others in that braying mob as being fuckwits at the time and afterwards. I’ve been absolutely consistent

          Now I’m a leftie and I never said I was ‘proud’ to be in government with him. In fact I frequently said the exact opposite. I have also been absolutely consistent with that. I also bemoaned that in my opinion the lynch mob of fools like you would ensure that Winston and NZF would have a much longer political future than if you idiots had not tried to attack him with the filmiest of ‘evidence’. I have also been consistent in saying that political parties work with whatever the electorate gives them.

          Knock yourself out. Try to find something where I have said anything that was actually different (rather than another of your pathetic revisionism of what I meant to say..).

          Now as to Key. There isn’t enough evidence that he knowingly lied at present, and I suspect that there never will be. But as the Sprout noted

          Now that might all look remarkably shonkey and corrupt

          • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1.1.1

            Now as to Key. There isn’t enough evidence that he knowingly lied at present, and I suspect that there never will be.

            I suspect there is as the meetings and what they were about would be in his diary and/or his staff would know about them.

            • lprent 2.2.1.1.1.1

              The key word would be knowingly. He just said that he’d talked to the guy. Problem is that politicians talk to a lot of people, and memories are seldom 100%.

              That it is suspicious is one thing, proving any kind of malfeasance is another.

              • Draco T Bastard

                The meeting would be in his diary and what it was about
                It does seem that the talk changed government policy
                It was a written question

                Memories not being 100% correct is not an excuse as he had time to ensure that he had the correct answer by consulting with his staff.

                • Tigger

                  Plus after Key and Impey spoke Key put stuff in motion. He didn’t remember that? Or didn’t bother to check so that he didn’t mislead Parliament? He’s a liar or sloppy. Either way it’s a big deal.

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    Wait the Govt is helping out a private company which has proven not to be financially not self sustaining?
     
    Then what was the problem with helping out public broadcasting which is here to inform all New Zealanders for the public good?
     
    And didn’t someone say that there was no money left in the kitty? Or was that only for us serfs, there are plenty left for the aristocracy?

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      Then what was the problem with helping out public broadcasting which is here to inform all New Zealanders for the public good?

      The obvious problem – it’s there to inform the public.

      And didn’t someone say that there was no money left in the kitty? Or was that only for us serfs, there are plenty left for the aristocracy?

      Apparently there’s plenty for Nationals mates and none for essential services like ensuring that the populace are informed.

    • Bazar 3.2

      Try to get your facts right when you lash out.
      Mediaworks wasn’t given any money. The goverment hasn’t [yet] lost out on any revenue, in fact the agreement is benifical to both parties.
      Instead of collecting the right to broadcast over the air for 20 years, in a lump sum, they get a few years to pay it off, as well as a rather large interest rate.
      The goverment makes more money, mediaworks continues running. Win/win.
       
      It’s possible that mediaworks will colapse before they finish repaying the debt, but then at least the goverment has helped independent media.
      Or would you perfer our only media outlet be from the goverment run TVNZ?

      • handle 3.2.1

        “a rather large interest rate” – flat out wrong. The rate is far less than the standard for a distressed company. If not for its leveraged-to-the gills ownership, Mediaworks could have borrowed at standard rates to meet its core business expenses like every other company does. The government is not meant to be a bank for some firms and not others, and certainly not because of grubby little deals brokered by money traders.

        • mickysavage 3.2.1.1

          It is 11% and as far as I am aware is unsecured.

          I just checked and there is no PPSR registered.

          Unsecured at 11% for a company that is facing hardship and may fail is a really good deal.

      • Hanswurst 3.2.2

        TVNZ isn’t government-run. It is partially government-funded and subject to a charter drawn up by the government, but the government doesn’t “run” it.

  4. kerry 4

    The guy’s a habital liar. I surprised no one has dug into his “I grew up in a state house” lie

    • burt 4.1

      I think the phrase his supporters will use is; We take the honourable member on his word.

      Historically that phase gets used in the same context as ‘Move on’ and ‘not in the public interest to prosecute’.

      His supporters might quietly (and secretly) cringe inside but that won’t stop them arguing with you that he did nothing wrong.

      • todd 4.1.1

        burt, are you David Farrar by any chance?

        [lprent: Speculating on peoples in real life identities is strictly forbidden. If someone wants to use a pseudonym then they can – it will be protected.

        The only people that can ‘out’ people on this site are the moderators. That is simply to stop people doing the sock-puppet trick to avoid getting around bans and warnings, and moderators have enough information to prevent it dropping into flame wars (plus they have me to deal with if they abuse it).

        I can’t see that you have done this before, so you’ll just get a warning. ]

  5. Mac1 5

    After reading the NZ Herald link in the post, I would advise John Key to go for a Judge Only trial, because on the Herald’s evidence any reasonable jury might just convict.

  6. tc 6

    Like Duncan garner needs any encouragement to look away on all the lies and corruption that wafts from this govt whilst he whips up non stories about someone else who dislikes Goff as opposition leader.

    It’s the arrogance and sloppiness around the shonkey deals that grate…..Muldoon would be envious.

    • yep, they really do exude a sense of impugnity don’t they?
      breathtaking arrogance

    • Tigger 6.2

      You certainly won’t see Duncan chasing Key through the halls of Parliament like he did to Chris Carter…one rule for leftie poofs, another for rightie…poofs…

      • the sprout 6.2.1

        You certainly won’t see Duncan chasing Key through the halls of Parliament like he did to Chris Carter

        that would be a very safe bet indeed

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    On Monday, in answer to written parliamentary questions, Mr Key said he had not had any discussions with MediaWorks, which owns TV3 and a network of radio stations.
    But on Wednesday, he issued a correction, saying he “ran into Brent Impey at a social event [in August] where he briefly raised the issue”.

    Yep, that makes John Key guilty of lying to parliament and means that he must stand down awaiting a Privileges Committee and/or resign. Personally, I think he should be in jail.

    • burt 7.1

      The privileges committee is a kangaroo court isn’t it ?  If found guilty by the privileges committee he just carry’s on in govt till the next election….  Isn’t that how it works ?

      • lprent 7.1.1

        Yes. The privileges committee isn’t a court and is not required to follow either the law or the evidence.

        • burt 7.1.1.1

          “That particular committee made what was clearly a political decision that was markedly unrelated to the actual evidence presented.”

          That is your opinion. I respect that but sadly lprent, you cast yourself as a Winston supporter taking that position. I appreciate you might not be, but you make it look that way.

          edit: You deleted the comment I was talking about… I guess I was right about it painting the wrong picture.

          • lprent 7.1.1.1.1

            Actually I reread your comment that i was replying to and realised that it was more generic about the committee. So I deleted the Winson reference as being irrelevant in the reply.

            But I guess that you have proven my point that I was saying above. I have never supported Winston Peters

            You are a typical lynch mob member. An idiot who thinks that if I don’t agree with your conclusions about where the evidence leads, then I should be strung up as well.

            I guess you just don’t like due process, evidence based judgements and all of those inconvienient things. Too much bother to do things properly? You’re too lazy to think?

            • burt 7.1.1.1.1.1

              Good grace when wrong isn’t one of your strong points is it. If you can find other posts of mine where you can say I’m against due process other than this Winston issue we always bang heads over – then lets get them on the table. 

              IMHO – you should stop pseudo defending Winston by attacking the process he was found guilty under.

              • lprent

                He was never found ‘guilty’. The privileges committee isn’t a court. It is a ineffectual political talkshop which unfortunately has no judicial process or review.

                I have never referred to you as being in a lynch mob avoiding due process except in relation to the Winston Peters thing that I can recall. On this subject you appear to be as obsessed as you are on retrospective legislation. You raise the topic of that farse with the committee and I will express my opinion of people’s behavior.

                I do raise the topic of lynch mob mentalities whenever I see the topic arising. It is something that I despise because it is so stupid.

                • burt

                  The privileges committee isn’t a court. It is a ineffectual political talkshop which unfortunately has no judicial process or review.

                  OK, but it is the process parliament has put in place to deal with MPs telling porkies. After Winston was found by that process to have told porkies he re-filed his party returns to include the donations he had previously denied. The process – such as it is, apparently worked well in this case.

                  You may not like the process, but it is the only one we have for this situation and it was defined by the same people who it is applied to.

                  • lprent

                    After Winston was found by that process to have told porkies he re-filed his party returns to include the donations he had previously denied. The process – such as it is, apparently worked well in this case.

                    Been busy today. However you’re wrong. The privileges committee has absolutely nothing to do with electoral returns.

                    I thought that (from memory) inconsistencies with electoral returns went to the electoral commission, then reviewed through one of the ombudsmen or something like that, and thence to the police and the courts (details escape me – been coding). And didn’t NZ First’s party returns go through that route?

                    Face it – the privileges committee was just pure political grandstanding for the monkey in a yellow suit. Explains that high poll rating for Act compared to NZF doesn’t it..

                    • burt

                      Face it – the privileges committee was just pure political grandstanding for the monkey in a yellow suit. Explains that high poll rating for Act compared to NZF doesn’t it..

                      I agree the whole process of getting MPs to censure MPs is a diabolical farce. It’s yes minister BS at it’s best. BUT, it is the process they have put in place for themselves so they bloody well need to abide by it. Poor picked on woe-is-me Winston can winge all he likes. He would have been grandstanding if he had scalped some ‘secret trust using cash for policy National party liar’.  

                      Likewise your dancing on the head of a pin (legal reason to correct false returns was not the privileges committee ) just shows how difficult it is for Winston to proclaim he didn’t mislead parliament and the people. 

                      All that aside, why not replace the privileges committee for misleading parliament (or the public) with a charge of ‘giving misleading evidence’ and have that tried in court ?  

                      (Apart from the fact the MPs don’t want that, they can’t wriggle out from that and they can’t denigrate that process when it works against them, oh it would also be binding and seen as impartial and have real consequences on their political future)

    • Jim Nald 7.2

      A cangue , a cangue !

      [lprent: Use the link button. ]
       
       

  8. handle 8

    From that Herald story: “October 2009: Draft Cabinet paper notes Treasury opposes the scheme as it overturns long-standing policy and may see others, such as TV companies, ask for similar treatment.

    Also notes a lump sum payment would not threaten the long term viability of MediaWorks or The Radio Network, but it would impact profitability.”

    So it wasn’t to prevent the company falling over, just to safeguard its profit. Nice to have.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      Which shows the shear stupidity of NZ management. It protects this years profit but makes the total profit over the next five years even lower by the amount of interest that they’re going to have to pay.

      • William Joyce 8.1.1

        It is not just NZ management. It is a product of short-termist thinking. This can be found in pollies, Heads of Departments, CEOs etc.
        Do what is necessary so that the bottom lines looks good for the next reporting period, note that little fact on your cv, trade up to another job on the basis of short term results.
        The trick is to stay one step ahead of the chickens – because they all will come home to roost.
        When the fit hits the shan where are these people – where’s Max Bradford for instance when I come to pay my power bill?

  9. illuminatedtiger 9

    Why are people surprised? Key’s a compulsive liar.

  10. tsmithfield 10

    Shock. Horror. My company gets a loan from the government as well. Its called the customs deferred payment scheme that gives companies 30 days to pay for GST on imports rather than paying when the goods arrive at port.

    • handle 10.1

      Did you need a quiet word with the PM to get it?

    • burt 10.2

      tsmithfield

      You have missed one key point. That type of “loan” is available to all under legislation. It is not something done in secret and denied publicly till such time as it can’t be hidden anymore.  

      Don’t be an apologist for this shabby dishonest behaviour.

      • tsmithfield 10.2.1

        My understanding is that the mediaworks situation is quite similar in that the payment is deferred. I believe it is different in that mediaworks had to pay interest on the money whereas we don’t on the customs deferred scheme.

        My point is that it is quite common for the government to do this sort of thing, so extending a similar arrangement to another organisation can’t be seen as that unusual.

        • burt 10.2.1.1

          So, do you want to talk about the transparency and the availability of this provision for all ?

        • handle 10.2.1.2

          Nice try but there is no meaningful equivalence.
           
          Broadcasters knew they had to make provision for license renewal fees but chose not to. They asked for an exceptional bridging finance deal which Treasury identified as outside government’s role, and which was set at a fraction of  the commercial equivalent for distressed companies.

          One of the broadcasters further lobbied government after being told no. The lobbying paid off but Key lied about it and only fessed up when confronted with OIA facts.
           
          This is not going to bring them down as some fantasise, but it still stinks.

          • tsmithfield 10.2.1.2.1

            What about companies that approach IRD for an arrangement to pay tax debt. They have their own cosy little chat with the government and come up with a special deal. If companies can deal with one branch of the government on a confidential basis, then why not another. After, in the end the government all folds back to one entity.

            • handle 10.2.1.2.1.1

              Unless those companies get turned down by IRD and then sidle up to the PM at a cocktail function, you’re stretching again. And you are mis-understanding the difference between operational and governance arms of government.

            • burt 10.2.1.2.1.2

              They don’t have their cosy little chat with the government. They have a pragmatic financial discussion with the policy independent enforcers of tax legislation. 

              For gods sake ts – how fast is this going to need to spin before we all just see a blur you want us to see. 

              captcha: standards

  11. Hmm, looks pretty clear.  Either Key lied or he has an appallingly bad memory.  Mind you he says that he cannot recall his views on the Springbok tour so maybe …

    Farrar has not replied yet.  I can almost hear the spinning from here …

    Another strange consequence is that NZ Inc is potentially in the lurch for millions of dollars if any of the companies fail.  Crony capitalism anyone?

    • tsmithfield 11.1

      Not a lie at all. The only reason you lot are squealing about it at the moment is that Key has issued the correction. If someone makes a statement, realises later it wasn’t absolutely accurate, and then issues a correction, that is evidence that the person concerned is taking necessary action to ensure the information provided is accurate. This is to be commended, not condemned.

      • burt 11.1.1

        I’ll commend that behaviour when it happens before an OIA request proves the previous statement wrong. If it takes an OIA request to get the admission and correction then… well – you work it out.

      • south paw 11.1.2

        tsmithfield, you should submit your CV to Farrar, you would excel.

      • mickysavage 11.1.3

        You are joking TS.

        Key says firstly he did not meet Mediaworks, then he says that he did meet and the fruit of this meeting is that he then paves the way for Mediaworks to get preferential treatment.

        It smells.

        Some Crony capitalism examples that have occurred recently:

        Mediaworks
        AMI Stadiul
        South Canterbury Finance
        AMI
        Ngati Whatua …

        • Colonial Viper 11.1.3.1

          Isn’t admitting that you are lying once irrefutable evidence comes to light that you have been from the start a creditable thing to do? 🙄

      • freedom 11.1.4

        Ttsmithfield, Let me get this straight…you want to defend and commend the PM for privately discussing multi million dollar bailouts at a cocktail party.

        Congratulations you just become an even bigger ——- than i thought you were .

        yes i said privately, because if they were not private he would have had records of the conversation and they would have happened in the presence of others, like they are supposed to. if you cannot or will not see that the PM  is a lying sack of Shylocks’ kidneys then you really are a dimwitted propoganda parrot with no interest in reality

  12. Fat Uncle 12

    In the weekend Herald buried in the middle some where under Key tells another lie to everyone, and yawn in sport…

  13. ak 13

    Reeks to high heaven and back again.

    As we mortgage our mokopuna, on the top of billions, more taxpayer millions to rich cronies – this time a blatant payback and down-payment for sympathetic media treatment, cooked up in back rooms by the minister and his mates, then lied about by the Slime Minister till cornered.

    Still, no need to get retrospectively agitated burt.  It’s not as if they sat in the back of a speeding car or signed a painting for charity, for heck’s sake.  How’d you do that again?  oh that’s right, pick any item and repeat ad infinitum:

    corruptcorruptcorruptcorruptcorruptcorruptcorruptcorruptcorruptcorruptcorrupt

    • burt 13.1

      Parties have changed, I agree with you this time. Case closed.

      • ak 13.1.1

        Oh quite, dear burt, and spiffing non-partisan judgement on your part.  

        Case closed indeed, yet worth making the point again, you’ll surely also agree, that were the slipper on the other foot so to speak three years ago, the case would most certainly not only not be closed, but rather opener than the openest opening in Opensville, with wall-to-wall hysterical corrupto/arrogant/out-of-touchiness on every forum available, maybe a Stalin/Key red-front-page or two and incessant screams, media mauls and breathless Duncans, Guyons, try-ons and klingons from here to Haitaitai and breakfast to bed and beyond with several and sundry shrieking talkback marathons in between.

        Why the difference?

        Simple:  look at this very case.  Backroom taxpayer funds to whom? 

        Looks awfully like the fetid tip of a very extensive and long-standing iceberg of corruption.  But don’t expect suicide-by-pen by the perpetrators:  case probably closed indeed.  

        • burt 13.1.1.1

          Why the difference? I don’t really think there is one but they way you are going on there must be.

          Oh I know. The taxpayer funds went to a company rather than to National themselves to spend on winning an election. The other difference of course is that National haven’t yet used parliament under urgency to say “STFU” to the tax payers. (yet…)

          • Draco T Bastard 13.1.1.1.1

            They’ve used urgency more than any other government and quite often on non-urgent legislation.

          • felix 13.1.1.1.2

            Oh I know. The taxpayer funds went to a company rather than to National themselves to spend on winning an election.
             

            Or did the funds go to one of the biggest media companies in the country for precisely that reason?

        • marsman 13.1.1.2

          Very well put ak.

        • rosy 13.1.1.3

          I just have to quote this again, this is so awesome AK, especially when read aloud. And so true. A political Dr Seuss  (I hope your not offended). Fantastic 🙂

          “Case closed indeed, yet worth making the point again, you’ll surely also agree, that were the slipper on the other foot so to speak three years ago, the case would most certainly not only not be closed, but rather opener than the openest opening in Opensville, with wall-to-wall hysterical corrupto/arrogant/out-of-touchiness on every forum available, maybe a Stalin/Key red-front-page or two and incessant screams, media mauls and breathless Duncans, Guyons, try-ons and klingons from here to Haitaitai and breakfast to bed and beyond with several and sundry shrieking talkback marathons in between.”

  14. Im hoping Key is in  trouble ,but I bet he  will smile wave and shrug and the great unwashed will,say what a lovely man. .

    I cant understand it ,If this had been a Labour person it would be headline news for weeks.
    I will not give up fighting for the political,Left but I must admit I sometimes think I am banging  my poor head against a brick wall.

  15. Irascible 15

    Key looks and sounds like Carroll’s Humpty-Dumpty every day. Words mean only what he wants them to mean at the time he uses them and change with the believer every day.
    Whose transparent blind trust are Mediaworks shares held by now?

    • logie97 15.1
      Just another case of being economical with truth.
      Remember the Franscesca Mold interview over Tranzrail shares?
      And of course the meme in the last election was about Trust –
      the Mums and Dads investors like Mr and Mrs Aldgate-Whitechapel type of trust perhaps?
  16. Tanz 16

    Why trust an ex money trader,anyway? The man escaped with millions while at Merryl Lynch. How could this have been made with integrity? Those eyes. He looks a bit edgy in that photo.

  17. As a broadcaster… well a former one anyway… I have an additional concern to those already expressed above.

    What is the quid pro quo offered by Brent Impey in return for all this nice low-interest money?

    And how wil he enforce it on those of his on air minions who don’t happen to agree with saying what they’re meant to say?

    Perhaps it’s time for me to regale the world with the story of how and why Impey and Lowe pulled the plug on Radio Pacific Waikato when I worked there… bit problematic to do it here, lest the Standardistas find themselves co-defendants in a defamation suit.

    Though if there’s anyone reading with both Parliamentary privilege and a the required testicular fortitude, they might be inclined to ask…

    • felix 17.1

      What is the quid pro quo offered by Brent Impey in return for all this nice low-interest money?

      Good question. Looks to me like we just paid for MediaWorks to hire Paul Henry.

  18. Deadly_NZ 18

    Because he has just bought the NACTS a TV channel so all the news that is the news will be rewritten to make them look good.  It looks like a lot of complaints to the broadcasting regulator could be instore for favouritism.

  19. AndrewK 19

    The only problem I have with the concern that the carrot offered to Media Works will offer an incentive for them to portray National Party dogma more sympathetically is they didn’t require that incentive in the first place. As a privately owned corporation that derives its income from selling its listener’s attention to other privately owned businesses its primary sympathies already lie with the kind of neo-liberal snake oil being peddled by ‘Honest’ John.

    It reminds me of an anecdote I heard John Pilger impart on a video I saw of a talk he was giving. He was speaking of some Russian journalists who, during the cold war, were in the US to observe the local media. They were absolutely astounded! As one Russian journalist pointed out, “In Russia, when the state wants the news to be reported favourably they torture and imprison journalists who do not adhere to the official line. Here, in the US, there is no torture, no prison, no fear of being disappeared by the secret police, yet all the newspapers and television channels report exactly the same thing, exactly what the authourities want them to,…it’s amazing.”

    To quote Gil Scott-Heron: “The revolution will not be televised.”

  20. belladonna 20

    I am assuming the fact that the 2 left wing hosts on Radio Live are missing in action at the moment is purely accidental!

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